Effectiveness of using comic books to communicate HIV and AIDS messages to in-school youth: Insights from a pilot intervention study in Nairobi, Kenya

  • Francis Obare Population Council, Nairobi
  • Harriet Birungi Population Council, Nairobi
  • Bridget Deacon Well Told Story, Nairobi
  • Rob Burnet Well Told Story, Nairobi
Keywords: HIV and AIDS, Communication, Comic books, In-school young people, Kenya


This paper uses data from a pilot pre- and post-intervention study that was conducted in eight secondary schools in Nairobi, Kenya, between 2010 and 2011 to examine the effectiveness of using comic books to deliver HIV and AIDS messages to in-school young people. Information was collected through structured self-administered interviews with 3,624 and 2,914 students at baseline and endline respectively. Qualitative feedback from students was also obtained through drop-boxes. The findings show that the comic books were effective in improving students’ knowledge about modes of infection, enhancing communication about the epidemic among them, positively changing their attitudes towards people living with HIV, reducing their fear and increasing their likelihood and intention of getting tested for HIV, as well as positively changing their sexual behaviours. The study underscores the need for age-appropriate communications channels to reach young people with HIV and AIDS information in settings that are affected by the epidemic.